Rich Listers Score Big Time in January’s Pub Power Play

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January saw Rich Listers score big in the pub power play, with significant deals sealed across Australia.

The pub, tavern and lodge sector is on course to have another record-breaking year, with more than $100 million in assets being exchanged over the first three weeks of 2023. This follows an incredible peak during 2022 when a whopping $2.2 billion worth of these recessions and inflation-proof properties changed owners – making it one of the hottest markets.

At the top of the list for January deals was an eye-popping sale – the Roche family, known for their affinity with real estate properties, sold Harrigan’s Irish Tavern and Harrington River Lodge in Taree on the mid-north coast of NSW. The final price tag? A whopping $16 million! Conditions were prime to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity, as evidenced by such a hefty sale price.

Local hotelier Glenn Knight recently purchased a 1.8ha property, which boasts 200 metres of river frontage and encompasses a massive tavern featuring an alfresco beer garden and gaming room, along with 22 holiday units on their deed of title.

According to the 2022 Financial Review Rich List, vendor Imelda Roche and her late husband Bill (who sadly passed away in July 2020) were estimated to be worth a staggering $1.5 billion!

Experienced publicans Ashton Waugh and Ben Lawler recently purchased the 140-year-old Commonwealth Hotel in Cooks Hill, located along Australia’s New South Wales coast, for a whopping $22 million. After six memorable years, Stew Smith and Cath Antaw have sold their beloved two-level brick venue, The Commo, located at the corner of Union and Bull Streets. 

In a third NSW deal, an interstate investor bought the 132-year-old Village Inn in Paddington’s upmarket inner Sydney enclave for around $8 million on a yield of 5%. Brody Peterson, owner-operator with Parlour Group, was the vendor, while Ben Stehr from Stehr Hospitality had leased it out to run as a hotel.

HTL Property’s Managing Director Andrew Jolliffe and colleague Xavier Plunkett successfully closed the deal on Harrigan’s Irish Tavern and Harrington River Lodge. At the same time, HTL representatives Dan Dragicevich and Blake Edwards were responsible for sealing off The Commo. Furthermore, Mr Edwards, in collaboration with Sam Handy from HTL and Stef Ippolitoof IB Property, finalised negotiations to sell the Village Inn.

By integrating two additional transactions in Queensland, whose details are yet to be revealed by HTL’s Executive Director, Mr Jolliffe, the total value of pub deals conducted during the first three weeks of 2023 will surpass $100 million.

“Early 2022 transaction activity across the nation closely mirrors our firm’s, indicating that a dynamic year of trading is upon us,” Andrew Jolliffe said.

“This year’s three NSW sales were all extremely successful, staying at or exceeding the market guidance. This highlights investors’ appeal towards businesses with high cash flow potential like hotels,” he continued.

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